Saturday, 21 January 2012

Mrs S

Tel: 9271 6690 (they don't take bookings for breakfast...)

I've heard about this Mrs S place so many times and the last time I wanted to try it was closed.  Needless to say I was excited that I finally made it there.  We arrived just before 10am and there was already a line...We ended up waiting around 35 minutes for a table as there was 4 of us and it appears people like going out for breakfast in twos.  During our wait, one of the waiters who knew we had been waiting for awhile, apologised a few times (bonus customer service points) as he let the couples who arrived after us into the establishment.  He also gave us copies of the menu so that we can order as soon as he can arrange a table for us.  The menus were cute - they attached the food menu to Little Golden Books with a wooden clothes peg - a very neat idea which also brought back childhood memories of reading and collecting them.    Consolation for waiting for such a long mini sample of their brownie which was delicious!  I was hungry and the brownie made me excited!

We ordered as soon as we sat down at our table which was designed to fit 2.5 people (the waiter asked us whether we wanted to squeeze) - Miss Em, Mr Ar and I ordered the same thing - Granny June's cornbread, bacon, poached eggs and maple syrup - Miss Pi decided to be an individual and ordered the avocado, olive tapenade, roasted tomato and goat's curd on rye.
Once we settled down, did we finally have time to take in the decor.  Their choice of decor was cute - cute lights, gnomes, Peter Rabbit look alike on the menu board, etc.

Miss Em and Miss Pi ordered watermelon juice, Mr Ar ordered a flat white and I ordered apple juice.  I originally wanted the French pink lemonade (yes, because it said French!) but it wasn't available...Anyway, their juices were all freshly prepared and my apple juice was definitely one of best fresh apple juice I've had.  No one complained about their drinks...unfortunately our food took another 30 minutes or so to arrive which was understandable as they were busy and they still had a line but we were HUNGRY! 

Flat white $3.50

Watermelon juice and apple juice $5 each (a little expensive)
Our food finally arrived and the verdict - fresh ingredients, freshly prepared - we enjoyed our breakfast (maybe because we were REALLY HUNGRY! But only initially for me...) 
Avocado, olive tapenade, roasted tomatoes and goats curd on rye $15

Granny June's cornbread, bacon, poached eggs and maple syrup $16.50
My complaint, after a quarter of the way into my meal, the cornbread with the maple syrup started tasting sickly sweet and the bacon was salty and I mean very, VERY salty.  I tried hard to continue eating but in the end couldn't finish my breakfast which was a bit of a disappointment.  However, the servings were quite big so I guess even if it was delicious I probably wouldn't be able to finish it without stuffing myself and feeling sick.  I will however give it another try sometime...

Food: 3/5
Presentation: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Taste Test Total Score: 13.5/20

Mrs. S on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Allegro Pizza

Tel: 9383 1347

Last night, I headed out for dinner with my family.  Dad had just returned from Hong Kong so we opted not to have Asian food and to try somewhere we haven't been to before.  We chose Allegro Pizza and it ended up being a good choice.

The bar
The building doesn't look very impressive but as soon as you step in it feels like you've stepped into a restaurant in Italy.  I managed to book the last table available for the night and it was located at the bar which was away from the main part of the restaurant - we didn't mind because it was quieter.  The table was big and comfortable but hard to get in and out.

We weren't sure how big the servings are so between 6 of us, we ordered some garlic bread, fettucini carbonara (bacon and mushroom in a cream sauce with egg), fettucini salciccia (hot Italian sausage with garlic and chilli), caesar salad and a family size pizza (16 slices).  We asked our waitress for pizza recommendations and she suggested we order half pescatore (squid, prawns, garlic, chilli, onions and anchovies) and half connada (chicken, avocado, onions, mushroom, sundried tomatoes and bbq sauce) on our family pizza.  She told us the amount we ordered should be enough.

Fettuccini Salciccia $23.50

Fettuccini Carbonara $21

Caesar sald $18

Our pastas and salad came out first (we asked for everything to come at the same time but there was a queue for pizza so our waitress asked if we would like our pastas first) and we were a bit disappointed with the size and wondered if we would actually get full...then our garlic bread and pizza came out...the pizza was huge!
Garlice bread $7

Family size pizza (16 slices) - half Pescatore/hald Connada $37.50
The pasta was fresh and the sauces were very tasty (the carbonara was quite authentic).  The salad was quite average, I've had better caesar salad.  We were not disappointed with the pizzas - the seafood on the pescatore was nice and fresh; the connada was also very tasty - we all preferred the pizza pescatore.  We were definitely full after our feast but still had enough room for a little bit of dessert.

Tart Tatin $7.50
The desserts available were quite simple but enticing - we ordered tiramisu, crepes de flambée (crepes flamed with liqueur) and tart tatin (upside down apple tart).  We waited for a long time for our desserts and when we asked our waitress she assured us that they were on their way.  Another 10 minutes or so passed and our waitress came and told us they had run out of tiramisu - we didn't order a replacement dessert.  Finally, our desserts came sans the tiramisu of course.  Our waitress flamed the crepes at the table - it was entertaining, however the crepes were a bit bitter (due to the liqueur) but it was nice with the accompany ice-cream.  The tart tatin was delicious - I wanted it all to myself -  the taste and texture was just perfect and was made even better with ice-cream.  The staff at Allegro are friendly, helpful and cheerful (bonus points) and our dessert was on the house due to our long wait and lack of tiramisu (extra bonus points!) - this is customer service Perth! Some restaurants need to learn.  

Overall, Allegro Pizza is a casual dining restaurant which I recommend and will happily return to for the food, atmosphere and great staff.  The prices are reasonable for what you get.

Food: 4/5
Presentation: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Taste Test Total Score: 15.5/20
  Allegro Pizza on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Akheele on Colin

Tel: 9485 2000

Akheele on Colin is tucked away in the West End Village complex on Colin St.  We decided to go there for a celebratory lunch for Mrs Es who is expecting her first baby and therefore leaving us to slave away at work without her and also because our usual haunt was still closed after Christmas and New Year!  We had all heard of this cafe because another pregnant colleague had her celebratory lunch there but none of us went so had no idea it is situated where Citrus Cafe once stood.

I went in to ask for a table and although they were busy and quote "usually always booked out" - they managed to find a table for us.  The seats are located outside and feels like you're in a nice garden alfresco, nice and relaxing.  Unlike many cafes around West Perth, Akheele offered a table service.

Pad thai chicken chickens with BBQ mushroom, spinach, tomato & coriander salad $17

Mrs Es ordered the pad thai chicken skewers which she was pleased with, the chicken wasn't overcooked and the taste was great.  Mrs Em had the herbed crumbed chicken breast and said 

"the chicken is cooked to perfection, there is just the right amount of pesto and the herbed crumbed is delicious."

Herbed crumbed chicken breast, crushed potato, rocket & salsa verde $19

Miss Lea chose the duck shanks, it was a bit messy to eat but delicious all the same.

BBQ duck shanks with a sambal, chestnut & shitake mushroom salad & hoisin dipping sauce $17

Miss Zed, Mrs Arr and I ordered the pumpkin aracini balls.  The three of us agreed that they were tasty but Miss Zed and I thought the crumb was a bit salty.  Neither Miss Zed or Mrs Arr complained about the salad but I thought they put a bit too much oil on it, my rocket was seriously drenched in oil.

Pumpkin aracini with toasted almond, rocket & parmesan $14

Our waitress came a few times and asked how our food was, she was polite and friendly.  When it was time to pay, Shane the director (that's what his business card said) gave us his business card and advised us to book next time.

Food: 3.5/5
Presentation: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Taste Test Total Score: 14/20

  Akheele on Colin on Urbanspoon

Monday, 9 January 2012

Phong Vinh Vietnamese & Chinese Noodle House

Tel: 9228 8238

After a long walk around King's Park - Miss Em, Miss Tee and I were ravenous and decided to have dinner at Phong Vinh Vietnamese & Chinese Noodle House.  This is probably the second or third time I've been here and it hasn't disappointed me so far (probably because my expectations weren't high?).  Phong Vinh is a casual dining restaurant with lights that don't match the rest of the decor in the restaurant but the food is good.

As soon as we sat down, the waitress brought over menus, serviettes, tea in a thermos flask and tea cups.  After perusing the menu, we ordered two serves of "Goi Cuon Tom Thit" (rice paper roll with prawn and pork) for entrée.  You can't really go wrong with rice paper rolls so if they are bad I suggest leaving the restaurant before you get your mains.  The rice paper rolls arrived and were adequately filled and quite tasty; the only complaint I have is the sauce - I've had better sauce, something was missing but I couldn't pin point it...
Goi cuon tom thit (rice paper roll with prawn and pork)
Pho Tai Nam (raw and cooked beef hofan soup)
Beansprouts, red cabbage, mint
 For our mains, we decided to get a bowl of noodles each.  Miss Em ordered "Mi De Tiem Thuoc Bac" (braised goat noodle soup), Miss Tee ordered "Bun Bo Hue" (pork and beef vermicelli in spicy soup) and I ordered "Pho Tai Nam" (raw and cooked beef hofan soup).  Whenever you order "Pho"  at Vietnamese restaurants, they also give you an accompanying plate filled with an assortment of bean sprouts, mint and Asian basil plus another small dish of chilli and some lemon - I have to say Phong Vinh probably serves the cleanest looking bean sprouts amongst the Vietnamese restaurants I've been to and they also give you red cabbage!
Mi De Tiem Thuoc Bac (braised goat noodle soup)

Bun Bo Hue (pork and beef vermicelli in spicy soup)

Our food came out and we tasted each other's soups - Miss Em's soup tasted like it had a tinge of Asian medicinal herbs, Miss Tee's soup was SPICY and mine compared to theirs was quite plain but still good.  My hofan would have been even better if it was cooked for a little, teeny bit longer. The servings were decent, we were all satisfied with our bowl of noodles and neither one of us managed to finish our noodles.  I still haven't found a place that makes "Pho" better than my friend's mum...

Overall, I recommend Phong Vinh Vietnamese and Chinese Noodle House to anyone that wants to grab a quick, cheap, decent sized meal which is also satisfying to the taste buds.

Taste: 3.5/5
Presentation: 3.5/5
Service: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 3.5/5
Phong Vinh Vietnamese & Chinese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Onyesha Spa Pinelake

Tel: 9306 8335

This beautiful Saturday afternoon, I went to taste test Onyesha Spa Pinelake and I can tell you already that I am willing to drive all the way back up there again! The spa is located in the middle of nowhere and as soon as you enter the establishment it feels like you've left Perth behind - it's surrounded by big pine trees and is very picturesque.

Ms Cee, Ms Aitch, Ms Ee and I booked our "A Taste of Paradise" spa package for $179 each in November - it was a promotion they had advertised on their website.  The package includes: a mini facial, a back, neck and shoulder massage, a choice of foot or scalp massage and high tea!  Needless to say we were all looking forward to this day and we were not disappointed.  As soon as we arrived, we were asked to fill out a form with personal details, medical history, etc then we were asked to wait in the garden for our therapists. Our therapists introduced themselves and then lead us to the area where we were to have our treatment and it was amazing - it overlooked a lake with a gazebo in the middle, Miss Ee and I had our treatment outdoors and Ms Cee and Ms Aitch indoors.

We were asked to fill our mind with happy thoughts, shuffle some cards and pick one out (without looking) before it started -  I picked "surrender".  I am still not sure of the purpose but I suspect it was the essential oils they used when they asked us to take three deep breaths in through our nose and out through our mouth.  The back, neck and shoulder massage was the first item on the menu, my therapist started massaging me and then asked me whether the pressure was ok (bonus points) and continued - she was fantastic! Pressure was perfect and she got all the knots out, I felt so light afterwards.  After the massage came the mini facial - it was the typical cleanse, scrub and mask - whilst the mask was on she gave me a scalp massage and that just sent me to sleep, it was awesome!  Once our mask was off, we put our clothes back on and went back to the garden for our high tea.

We had a choice of tea: honey and licorice, lemongrass and ginger, cherry blossom green tea and there was one more which I have unfortunately forgotten...(fail!)...Ms Cee, Miss Ee and I chose the cherry blossom green tea and Miss Aitch chose the honey and licorice.  We were not sure what to expect with the high tea but we were impressed with the serving when it came out (the photo shows one of two identical stands).  The teas were very nice, the food however could be better.  Of course, this being a day spa, I wasn't expecting top notch food but I would've been a happier camper if the savoury food was at least warm, the taste was not bad though.  All four of us were nice and relaxed after our treatment and chatted away as we devoured the high tea in the beautiful garden of Onyesha.  We also met the owner Ed, who came to clear our table (because his wife had the day off apparently) - he was friendly and chatty.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Onyesha Spa Pinelake to anyone who wants to be pampered and get away from the stress of the city.

Taste (food): 3.5/5
Presentation (of food and the day spa): 4/5
Service: 5/5
Atmosphere: 5/5